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John Henry and the Inky-Poo 1946

  • George Pal
  • September 5, 1946
  • 90 mins
In this George Pal Puppetoon (production number U5-6), John Henry (voice of Rex Ingram), legendary figure of American folklore, goes to work for the C.& O. Railroad, which, shortly thereafter, buys an automatic steel-driving engine, called the Inky-Poo. John Henry matches his strength against the Inky-Poo, saying that any man can beat a machine because a man has a mind. John Henry wins, but drops at the finish, never to rise again. The choral music background is by the Luvenia Nash Singers.

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I randomly remembered this one from when I was a kid, and pulled it up on youtube. It's a bit more sexist and stereotyped than I'd remembered, but the music is still superb, not to mention catchy, and the visuals, while of their time, are striking as well. Well-directed to be sure.

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